Nico Hulkenberg’s sixth place finish in the Mexican Grand Prix helped Renault strengthen its grip over fourth place in the 2018 Formula 1 constructors’ championship.

The German turned in a strong drive in Mexico City to secure his second straight points finish as he moved 12 points clear of Force India’s Sergio Perez - who retired from his home race - in seventh-place in the drivers’ standings.

Renault’s consistent of recent results has moved the French manufacturer 20 points ahead of Haas in the close battle over fourth place, with the American squad failing to score following its struggles for performance at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriquez.

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“We’ve had two very good weekends in a row with a lot of points,” Hulkenberg said. “From my side, it was a very calm and solid race, albeit a little lonely to get ourselves through on a one-stop strategy.

“We had to manage the car and the tyres through the race and the whole team did a good job all weekend.”

Renault chief Cyril Abiteboul added: “Today saw a strong result for us in the championship battle with Nico driving an intelligent race to sixth position.

“We also saw a Renault-powered car on the top step of the podium after a fine performance from Red Bull.

“All weekend we were able to show good pace in Mexico and that echoed our performance in Austin, this illustrates that our team continues to push hard right till the end.”

It was a contrasting day of fortunes for teammate Carlos Sainz, who retired from the race while running comfortably inside the points. The Spaniard said his Renault suffered a complete shutdown “without any warning”.

“We were leading the midfield comfortably and in contention for some good points and then, without warning, the car shut down,” Sainz explained. “It’s really frustrating after making such a good start on lap one, but that’s racing.

“We’ve not had too many reliability issues this season, but when I have, it’s been when I’ve been leading the midfield, so that’s a bit of bad luck and coincidental for it to happen again today.

“We’ll investigate the issue and move on. We’ll keep fighting, aim to score points at the last two rounds and look to secure fourth in the constructors’ championship.”

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